No Man's Sky
Crescent Moon's upcoming mobile game is being compared with "No Man's Sky." Getty Images/Christian Petersen

“No Man’s Sky” came to PS4 and PC as a very different game than many believed it to be, and one of the most controversial omissions was the title’s lack of multiplayer. Despite Sean Murray mentioning seeing other players, design decisions directly contradict those claims.

While largely unconfirmed, several members of a dedicated Reddit thread believe they have solved the dilemma for good. Between pausing, saving and weather effects, it appears that “No Man’s Sky” is not a truly sharable experience of any kind.

Let’s first consider how pausing works. In “No Man’s Sky,” players can stop their game at any time to restock inventory and manage supplies. Not only does this feature go against the philosophy of many multiplayer games, but it’s also a product of how the game works. Inherent to its gameplay loop is the fact that an individual infinite universe is created as the player travels through it. When paused, that process ends. If no world map is being made, the argument is that no second player can theoretically enter the space.

The other two issues are equally as simple. In “No Man’s Sky’s” current build, explorers can load and reload from different save points as they please. This feature is similarly antithetical to a cooperative or PvP model. How cheap would it be, for example, to attack another player only to have them reload as they’re about to die? Not only would that be supremely frustrating, but it’s also something a game couldn’t really respond to. It’d either have to unfairly reload the player with full health or remove them from the space entirely. Both ideas break online play considerably.

Last but not least, it’s worth pointing out that weather conditions and time of day across “No Man’s Sky” are not persistent either. Two players could be on the same planet, for example, but their times of day and weather are individual to the last time they logged off. Because of this discrepancy, players are always in environments that are unique to their save. Ergo, seeing someone else in the exact same area is a near impossibility.

It’s worth noting, however, that even though we’re describing “No Man’s Sky” as it exists today, multiplayer elements could eventually arrive in the form of an update. That being said, it’s clear that several design decisions would have to be reversed in big ways to make those options a reality.

“No Man’s Sky” is available now on PS4 and PC.

What do you think of “No Man’s Sky’s” lack of multiplayer? Will it ever be fixed? Tell us in the comments section!